The first quarter at CCHS: a report from the front lines
CCHS Class of 2022
At the high school, even though the world is colder and darker and school starts even earlier now that we’re saving daylight, the gradebooks for the first quarter have closed, and to my parents’ amazement, I didn’t flunk a single class. (No, Dad—I didn’t fail multiple classes either!) As I begin the second quarter, I’m starting to settle in. The mountains of homework seem more manageable, and I’ve gotten slightly more accustomed to the idea of reading the chapter before the quiz.
A big part of the shift in my study habits is that with the end of freshman soccer for the fall, I have an extra three hours a day. I have so much free time on my hands that I’m considering a hobby, like daydreaming maybe, or videogames, or sleeping. I even had enough time one recent Saturday to hang out with friends. We met at the Concord Free Public Library and walked together through the fall colors across Concord to a soccer game at the high school. Both the boys and girls varsity teams have been fun to watch this season. We cheered our team to victory, and felt lucky to live in such a place. And I like saying “Concord Free Public Library” even though something about it feels redundant.
In English, we’re reading Antigone. It’s a play by a Greek writer who wrote 120 plays without a computer, which is hard to imagine. Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and her grandmother, his mother Jocasta, which I don’t even want to think about. In the play, her brothers have killed each other in a civil war, and King Creon, Antigone’s mother’s brother, won’t let her give one of them a proper burial. She does anyway, and tragedy follows. These people seem unlucky. From here on, if my little brothers fight, I’m staying out of it.
In World Studies, I’ve now become an expert on ancient China and ancient India, and I’ve embarked on a journey down the Silk Road. It’s interesting to read things like “after he had killed hundreds of thousands in conquering the Kalinga, Ashoka, the Beloved of the Gods turned to peace.” Genghis Khan’s Mongol hordes and his heirs apparently also ushered in a time of peace. I’m sensing themes here, but I’m not sure I see the whole picture.
In Carlisle, in remembrance of Armistice Day, or Veterans Day, poppies have bloomed and blown in the Flanders Fields of the Town Common and around the rotary and the statue that my family calls Winged Victory (even though she has no wings). For me it’s a reminder that a hundred years ago, our town sent kids not much older than me off to fight in a terrible war, and that we are still at war today. Makes me think that I should take my World Studies class a little more seriously.
While I was writing this, my little siblings went for a bike ride down our street and, as they tell it, nearly got eaten by a bear. It seems as if every time my family has any fun, I’m away on a sleepover or inside doing homework. They dropped their bikes and ran, which has led to a big argument over whether it’s better to run away from a bear, or ride away, or to try to look disinterested and talk about the Patriots. Bears don’t like to talk about the Patriots.
Reading through what I’ve written here, it seems more gloomy than I’m actually feeling. High school is fun. There have been very few massacres or other atrocities, and no small children have been consumed by bears. Also, with three-day weekends, I’m getting more sleep. After my complaints in previous columns that I’ve been missing my pillow, one dear reader gave me a travel pillow to carry with me. Now I’m thinking that I may need to complain about the lack of chocolate in my lunch box. ∆